POST: FringeNYC's 'Black & Blue' - two worlds collide
What'd I experience?
I have only gone to Broadway shows where the stage is huge, the seating two floors or more - so imagine how “out of my comfort zone” I was feeling when I went into the theatre that Tuesday to see Black & Blue. They made all of us be on a line to scan our tickets and then they let us in the room which would accommodate like 50 people, give or take. I sat in the back right next to the air conditioner which was not such a smart move because even though it kept me cool it was sort of distracting.
I also came in not really knowing what to expect because all I heard about the play was that it was full of poetry and was about a cop and a black man trying to come to terms and understand each other's situation in today's society. I mean I can imagine what that is, but it’s hard to. You see I grew up in a neighborhood full of minority groups and I am part of a minority group. I grew up and am growing up seeing unjust murders of people who are from minority groups. So yes, I am someone who feels very strongly about the subject.
I was so glad that the play took place in Brooklyn, it made me connect to it more since places I have been before to places that were mentioned. Bay Ridge for example was home to two of the main characters Mark and Maya, who were the black male and female role in this play. While Flatbush was home to the other two main characters, Kristen and Mike, the white female and male role in this play.
The first scene of the show, a police officer was on the ground kneeling as if she had killed someone, and turns out she did. People surround her and spoke their opinions, such as “she followed protocol” or “he attacked her”. I later found out that the man killed was the main character's cousin Mark. The scenes seemed all so familiar to me because... it was the society I am living in.
During the middle of the play Maya and Kristen talk about how since Mark's cousin died all he has been passionate about was the protests of Black Lives Matter. Kristen tries to defend him saying that it is good to spread awareness, that knowledge is good. The part that truly made me think, was when Maya said:
“Knowledge is power, but what’s knowledge without action”
It made me wonder a lot about the way things in my society are said. Everyone wants change but not many want to act to make that change happen.
It was almost the last scene of the play, a scene in which Mike and Mark were together. At this point Mark's cousin has died and all the social media comments were overflowing with opinions - just like in any other case of the death of an unarmed black male. Mike had also lost two of his fellow officers in what they called ‘cold blood’. A disagreement came up at this part where Mark told Mike that he did not chose to wear the color of his skin, he can’t go home to take it off - like Mike. He said Mike can choose to put on that uniform and Mike can choose to take if off when he comes home every night.
I wanted to understand Mike, but the world we both lived in was not the same world. Yeah, I know, Mike is a character but Mike represented police officers. And I, like many other minority people, can try to understand but sometimes can’t because different worlds mean different experiences.
I left the theatre with a new idea: even though both worlds collide each side seems to want something similar. You may think power. It’s not about power anymore. Has any leader ever been good with just power? What ever happened to equality, understanding? Or the play's end quote “Love!”
Want to see it?
:( Sorry. This show is not currently showing.